For years, Austin’s annual South by Southwest festival has served as one of the largest of its kind in the nation. It’s famous for its music portion, a long standing stretch of bars and hotel spaces converted into stages and growing more like home for filmmakers willing to test their material before heading towards wider releases.
It’s original charm was that SXSW gave independent and obscure talent the chance to reach new ears, thanks in part to the large crowds that invade the Texas capital each year.
To be clear, this may not be the SXSW that many of us remember, as bigger names and a surge in onlookers have assisted in transforming the once indie friendly environment into a more commercial affair. However, the event itself still stands as one of the best ways to discover new talent as well as appreciate more seasoned acts, as 6th Street swells with those looking to connect with the people behind the music.
SXSW veterans know that it’s about more than the films and the music, it’s the experience itself. The tales of sleeping in overpriced garages just to be near the action, maneuvering through urine soaked stairwells and of course the early years, when service was so bad (particularly for Sprint users) that once you landed on 6th Street you were better off using a string and tin cup to communicate with the outside world. Yet year after year, there we are.
With appearances from Drake, DJ Khaled, Nas and even Barack Obama (who made history by being the first sitting President to attend), this year managed to live up to the hype and then some. On Saturday we were on hand at Austin favorite The Belmont for Blessed & Beasty’s #Freshflow Showcase, hosted by AD the General.
Even better, Blessed & Beasty’s own David Pablo decided to pair music with philanthropy, donating a portion of the proceeds to those affected by the water crisis in Flint, an ongoing man-made calamity in Michigan. A Flint native, artist and entertainer Pablo decided to give back to his hometown by using the funds generated to assist in plumbing and installing new water filter systems to homes and families with small children in need.
Read the full story at Dayandadream.com - March 2016